There is a well used phrase among elite athletes when referring to their sessions in the gym:
“You’re here to work your muscles, not your ego.”
And even if you are not in that elite bracket, it is a phrase that everyone should bear in mind.
You can see it at any gym up and down the country; people who are trying to lift weights which are far too heavy and in turn loosing all form and risking injury.
It’s not about how much weight you are lifting but how you are lifting it.
When you lift a weight that’s too heavy most people will tend to swing it and rely on momentum to complete the rep. This is a very ineffective way to work the muscle as quality is always better than quantity. In other words, it’s not about how much weight you are lifting but how you are lifting it.
It can be very easy to get caught up in the whole competitive spirit in the gym, and while having someone to push you that little bit harder is a great way to train, remember that the only person you are really competing with is yourself.
So stop worrying about what every one else is doing and concentrate on doing your exercise in a controlled and smooth manner and really think about the muscles you are working.
Also think about your range of motion. For example, how many times have you seen someone firing out what they think is 20 pull ups but they’ve actually only let their arms come to 90 degrees instead of fully straight? By doing this they have missed out the most important part of the exercise. It’s much better to do half a dozen correctly than 20 of the incorrect version.
In fact, even if you have been training for some time, now might be a good opportunity to examine your form. Why not ask one of our Glasgow Club Gym Instructors to have a look and give you some advice. The chances are if you can’t manage 8-10 reps with good form then you could perhaps drop the weight.
This doesn’t mean your muscles will stop growing. Instead, by using good form they’ll be betting a better work out than ever.
Don’t go for the quick fix. In the long term you will be lifting heavier weights, be stronger and wont risk any injuries that could interrupt your training.